Published: January 2015

Many companies leave limited-English-speaking consumers in the dark

Families with limited-English-proficiency (LEP) are continually targeted for business, but abandoned when they run into trouble. Whether or not consumers speak English should not strip them of their consumer rights.

A 2014 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey reported that servicers rarely or never provide written communications to limited-English-proficiency (LEP) borrowers in their preferred language. The result: families are left in the dark when questions or issues arise. For example, who do they contact when they need recourse? How do families know when their consumer rights are violated? It's time the financial industry recognizes and respects the cultural diversity of its consumers and provides culturally and linguistically appropriate services to all.

As a result of its' survey the Bureau (CFPB) has implemented essential language access tools into its business. However, more robust efforts in serving LEP consumers are needed in order to meet the nation’s growing linguistic and cultural needs. Additionally, the Bureau will not fulfill its mission to ensure that all consumers have access to its services without making language-access demands within the financial industry it regulates—a historically “English-only" industry.


Lead Organization

National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)

Other Organizations

National Council of La Raza and Alliance for a Just Society | Center for Responsible Lending | Community Legal Services, Philadelphia | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumers Union | Empire Justice Center | NAACP | National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAP ACD) | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Housing Resource Center | The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights | U.S. PIRG | Woodstock Institute

More Information

For more information visit NCLC.

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Many companies leave limited-English-speaking consumers in the dark   (CFPBLEPcomments.pdf)




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